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W3C Document license discussion

From: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 08:47:52 -0500
To: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1322228872.6865.14.camel@chacal>
It has been pointed out so a few of you missed one important feedback
which happened during the face-to-face meeting earlier this month. For
the record, here is an extract from the discussion:

Several years ago, the HTML WG determined that the W3C document license
did not work for them and the group came up with a list of 11 use cases
that were not possible with the current W3C document license. The chairs
of the HTML WG then brought that list to the W3C Team and the W3C Team
took that list of use cases to the W3C Advisory Committee. The W3C AC
agreed with the majority of the use cases, but not with the use cases
related to so-called "forking" which put the Team sort of between a rock
and a hard place. It turned out that coming up a a suitable license was
very difficult. This task was handed over to the W3C PSIG which did an
analysis and proposed a license that they believed covered 9 of the 11
use cases. Then later in 2010 we decided that we needed to try again and
in the end we came up with 3 candidate licenses. The three licenses try
to address the use cases and at the same time address the AC's concerns
about "forking". I [jeff Jaffe] have not doubt that the PSIG left no
stone unturned. The chairs of the HTML WG created a poll in which they
asked the group to consider the 3 PSIG-proposed licenses, and also 2
other more-permissive licenses. The results of the poll were that a
majority of the HTML WG members responded that they could not live with
any of the 3 PSIG-proposed licenses. For the other more-permissive
licenses, the majority of the HTML WG responded to say that they could
live with them, though there was a significant minority that said they
could not. So, where we are at now is that we do not have any plans to
change the W3C document license but in another decision, we did great
Community Groups with a more permissive document license. We [W3C CEO
and Director] are on record as supporting a permissive license but the
Membership told us by an overwhelming majority (80%) is that when you
are on the W3C Rec-track, they feel that needs to not be forkable.

Anne and Marcos asked a few questions during the meeting, so you might
want to look at the Q&A as well. Many thanks to Mike for scribing that
session. He did a great job at capturing it.

Received on Friday, 25 November 2011 13:48:03 UTC

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